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Barry Windsor-Smith Conan Archives Volume 2 Hardcover – May 18, 2010
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In "Dweller In The Dark", Conan gets kidnapped by Arab-looking soldiers to become a demented queen's boy toy; when she tires of him, he gets thrown to the spider pit to be eaten by an octopus creature - a thing that was once human - that Conan escapes, only to toss the queen into the pit with it. Nice. In "Web of the Spider God", Conan helps an oppressed people free themselves from becoming Spider God food. Great dialogue here: "Don't take me, holy one - not me! Take my wife - my sons - but not me!!" Conan battles the giant beast, wounding it, the city blows up!! Issue 14 and 15 are crossover tales - Conan meets Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melnibone, they battle evil sorcerers resurrecting an eldrich proto-goddesses of green evil. Great. Moorcock also plotted the tale. Zephra and Zulkala re-enter the story here, now both of them on the side of our Cimmerian. Sure. Conan rides to aid Zulkala, he encounters Elric, they battle to a standstill and then become reluctant allies (especially when Conan sees Elric's swords drinking the souls of the fallen). They fight demon hordes together until they reach the golden palace that is their destination and fight off the evil resurrected goddess. Issue 16 recounts the tale of "The Frost Giant's Daughter", the art is stunning. Issue 19 starts a four-issue run where Conan sails to war, first fighting one side, before he is betrayed, then joining the other he is betrayed again.Read more ›
Seems that Mike Richardson and his editors never got to read the article entitled 'Still Waiting For The Absolute BWS Conan Volumes' published in Spectrum Super Special #3 (2005; Win-Mill Productions) which commented on the earlier DH trade paperbacks collecting the Marvel Conan stories in sequence. .. and its garish digital recoloring by people who likely never saw the original printings to discover the details, and somber mood, the deft coloring revealed.
This article also contains a letter from BWS that laments that no one asked him to oversee the process to get the coloring right - he reveals who the [uncredited] colorists were for all the Marvel BWS Conan comics - in most cases himself!
Mimi Gold - issues 1-5, 7, 8
Stan Goldberg - 6
Mimi and BWS - 9-13
BWS - 14-16, 19, 20, 24 [doesn't know who did 21-23]
Also, BWS colored the Red Nails color version in Marvel Treasury #4, as well as adding additional detail work on the splash page, and other panels for this over-sized presentation, and re-inking himself the last pages of part one (originally inked by Pablo Marcos)
So what do they do when they have a chance to correct their error? Due to their either never having gotten this precious information, or worse, ignoring it, Dark Horse again used that crappy digital coloring in these recent hardcovers, making the use of the name 'Barry Windsor Smith Archives: Conan' on these tomes a lie - after all, if they were to enshrine his work for these stories, how could they NOT include his coloring which was conceived in conjunction with the art???Read more ›
Barry Smith, artistically mature at this point, is at his peak with the Conan run. The last issue of the run in particular (#24 Song of Red Sonja) and Red Nails part 1 and 2 are the notable highlights. These stories hold up even today in my opinion. If there's any disappointment, I just wish they included the unedited version of "The Frost Giants Daughter" that was originally published in Savage Tales 1 instead of the tamer version that was reprinted in Conan 16. The same goes for the fore mentioned "Song of Red Sonja". They included the version that was originally published with issue #24, but a couple of panels were redrawn (presumably by John Romita) to cover up the racier bits. Not a big deal, but for the sake of completeness, they should have went with Smith's unedited version that was reprinted in Marvel Treasury Edition 15.
On the topic of completeness, it's really to bad they didn't or were not allowed to reprint the six art prints from Smith's Tupenny Conan portfolio. You can Google this to see what I'm referring too. It's perhaps Smith's best work featuring Conan.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent book - Barry Windsor-Smith's magnum opus. And this edition is wonderful, the coloring is excellent and the book itself with it's faux leather cover is just great. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Wayne Reese
My original copies of these stories have long disappeared, so it was great to find that the original Roy Thomas/Barry Smith Conan stories had been collected in two hardcover... Read morePublished on August 16, 2012 by wm3333
Great stuff the second time around. But they never fixed Conan #19 which kind of sucks.Published on July 7, 2010 by Gump
This is the second hardcover volume collection Barry Windsor's Smith early 1970s Conan stories published originally by Marvel Comics. Read morePublished on June 11, 2010 by Tim Janson
This second volume of the Barry Windsor-Smith Conan Archives is just as well done and as worthwhile as the first. Read morePublished on May 22, 2010 by Charlie Gee